Even while training to become a Jesuit priest, Johann Casutt from Horgen in Switzerland wanted to become a missionary. However, it took some time before he was finally called to work in Indonesia in the 1960s.
Father Casutt found his true calling in Surakarta, where under his prudent, empathetic and competent leadership the ATMI Polytechnic developed into one of the most respected vocational training institutions in Indonesia. Father Casutt’s approach was in many ways innovative and forward-looking. He successfully adapted his home country’s system of dual vocational education and training to suit Indonesian circumstances. At the same time, he built up a system that he was to a large degree able to finance through orders from industry. And finally, besides teaching technical efficiency and perfection, Father Casutt’s model succeeded in having his students learn a holistic approach, with respect for their colleagues and the environment, above and beyond all boundaries of religion or denomination. The result is testament to his great sense of commitment: ATMI graduates are highly sought after, and 60 percent set up their own businesses after completing their training.
With the ATMI Polytechnic and other projects in vocational training, Father Johann Casutt created a model not just for Indonesia, but also for other regions in development. It is a model that with its combination of technical expertise, moral responsibility and social commitment at the workplace serves to promote, in a sustainable manner, the development of both the individual and of the community as a whole.